China Finds 71 Liable for Fire at CCTV Headquarters

From the Wall Street Journal:

Seventy-one people have been found responsible for the fireworks-fueled blaze that engulfed a building in the new headquarters of state broadcaster China Central Television last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Xinhua’s report, posted on the Web site of the State Council, represents the first public release of the results of a lengthy investigation of the fire the State Council ordered in April 2009. The final report was expected to be submitted to the State Council this week, though only certain highlights will be made public.

The State Council report appears to place some of the blame at the top levels of CCTV management. It said Zhao Huayong, former head of the broadcaster who stepped down in May, which Xinhua reported was because he had passed the retirement age of 60, would receive an administrative demotion and a “severe warning” from the Communist Party. The State Council also ordered CCTV to pay a fine of three million yuan ($438,820).

In limited public statements made in the days after the Feb. 9, 2009, blaze, CCTV sought to distance itself from the accident, portraying it as the result of an unauthorized fireworks display organized by a few executives.

See also this past CDT post from last year’s incident.

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